There are quite a few that anyone can name when it comes to the list of foods one must try when in Hanoi. For a foodie, Vietnam is a paradise of delectable and mouthwatering dishes from north to south. And the food can be the sole reason for you to extend your stay here!
BBQ might not come up in most people’s minds as a Vietnamese cuisine, but it is enjoyed by many local people along with hotpot. And once you pay close attention, you’ll see a lot of BBQ places around the city. If you decide you want to try Vietnamese BBQ, here’s THE place I recommend with all my heart because I’m a passionate foodie and love visiting well-known and hidden gems recommended by local friends and media.
One of the first places I was introduced to was a BBQ street under the railway. The street is located on a street named, Gầm Cầu, which literally means under the bridge. The bridge is a railway between Long Bien and Hanoi train stations. This place ticks all the boxes, from amazing food to fascinating atmosphere. So I’ve been back here over and over again and every meal fully served my tummy, heart and soul.
So you might be wondering what Vietnamese BBQ is. The one thing that differentiates Vietnamese style barbeque is the margarine! The grill pan is covered with a layer of aluminium foil and you grill your meat and veggies with oil and margarine. Yes, that sounds like a hugely guilty meal, but you know that means it tastes inevitably good!
So my friends and I always order a mixed platter of meat – with pork and beef and they always come with fresh vegetables and lettuce for wraps. Once you get the tray of your pan, oil and margarine set on your table, you can start grilling!
You can dip in the lime and salt sauce and wrap your meat with a lettuce to balance off the oily flavour. This restaurant also makes and serves kimchi (a Korean side dish), which is perfect to have it fresh or even grilled. As a Korean, the kimchi here is pretty good and I was impressed to know that they make it themselves!
Other than for grill, there are some side dishes you can order here. My favourites are banh mi bread grilled with honey and fresh pho noodle. The sweet banh mi grill here is one of the best grilled banh mi I know in Hanoi and pho noodle is to grill on the pan. But beware the pho will be stuck on the pan, so you’ll have to ask for a change of pan after that.
Beer and BBQ are an irresistible pair, but if you’re in for a more exotic drink, you can venture for their coconut wine. Opening of the coconut wine was a whole new experience to witness and the flavour was incredible. The alcohol percentage is pretty high, so make sure you have enough people to share this with you!
There are several different restaurants in this alley, but I only go to one specific restaurant because the staff here have always been genuinely welcoming and friendly with us since the first visit. It is the second shop on phố Gầm Cầu but the address is 34 Hàng Giấy (see map below). I believe other restaurants on the street will serve you just as well, but this one is my personal suggestion.